Desktop Gadgets For Windows 10

Desktop Gadget feature was first introduced with Windows Vista. As we all know, desktop gadgets offer various information at a glance and are low on system resources as well. Windows 7 comes with a bunch of quality gadgets and supports installing third-party gadgets from the web.

Desktop gadget feature, one of the most used features of Windows 7, is not available in Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and the latest Windows 10. The feature was discontinued citing security reasons. Microsoft, in fact, has been providing a tool to completely uninstall desktop gadgets from Windows 7 operating system.

Desktop Gadgets for Windows 10 picture5

Live tiles in newer versions of Windows act as desktop gadgets to some extent. For instance, the weather app’s live tile offer the same or more information than the weather gadget.

Although live tiles in Windows 10 work better than these desktop gadgets, we need to switch to the Start menu or Start screen in order to get access to these live tiles.

Install desktop gadgets in Windows 10

If you have upgraded from Windows 7 and missing those desktop gadgets, you’ll be happy to know that desktop gadgets can be installed in Windows 10 with the help of a third-party installer.

There are actually a bunch of applications out there to get desktop gadgets in Windows 10 but some of the applications are not good enough to be installed.

Following are the two applications you can use to install native gadgets of Windows 7 in Windows 10.

Important: A lot of users have reported that these desktop gadgets don’t work after installing major Windows 10 updates. If you’re also having issues with gadgets after installing a Windows 10 update, please uninstall and reinstall desktop gadget program again.

Desktop Gadgets Installer

We have already talked about Desktop Gadgets Installer in one of our previous articles, and it’s our favourite software to get desktop gadgets in Windows 10.

Desktop Gadgets Installer brings all the native desktop gadgets available in Windows 7 to Windows 10. All you need to do is install Desktop Gadgets Installer. As you can see, it installs Feed Headlines, Picture Puzzle, Slide Show, Weather, CPU Meter, Currency, Calendar, and Clock gadgets.

Desktop Gadgets for Windows 10 picture3

In addition to installing those gadgets, it also adds Gadgets option to the desktop context menu (right-click), so you can quickly access all installed gadgets just like in Windows 7. Also, when you right-click on desktop, and click View option, you’ll see an option to show or hide desktop gadgets.

Desktop Gadgets for Windows 10 picture2

To install more gadgets, you can visit the download page of Desktop Gadgets Installer by clicking Get more gadgets online link provided in Gadgets window that appears when you right-click on desktop and click Gadgets. The website features over 500 cool desktop gadgets.

The setup of Desktop Gadgets Installer comes with no strings attached, meaning it doesn’t offer you install any toolbar and other junkware.

Desktop Gadgets for Windows 10 picture31

Desktop Gadgets Installer is fully compatible with Windows 10, both x86 and x64.


Just like the above software, 8GadgetPack is another free application to install gadgets in Windows 10. Although 8GadgetPack was developed for Windows 8/8.1, it’s compatible with Windows 10 as well.

Desktop Gadgets for Windows 10 picture4

Download and install 8Gadgetpack to see a sidebar containing your favourite desktop gadgets. A total of 45 gadgets are installed when you install 8GadgetPack, including clock, calendar, currency, clipboarder, custom calendar, app launcher, and all CPU meter. This one also adds gadget options to desktop context menu and is very easy to use.

Caution before downloading gadgets from the web

After installing one of the above applications, you will be able to download and install hundreds of desktop gadgets from the web. And since Microsoft is no longer offering gadgets and suggesting again them, you need to be cautious while downloading gadgets from third-party websites.

We recommend you download gadgets only from trusted sources as many of the gadgets available on the web are nothing but malicious programs.



  1. confirmed_kill says

    If only Microsoft was smart enough to bring back the sidebar and allow it to host live tiles.

  2. Geth says

    Ron, I commented on here a couple weeks ago, detailing how to remove those stubborn files and repair the sidebar. Sadly, the site admin, for some reason, saw fit not to publish it. Sorry they deleted the solution that you were probably looking for.

  3. John9210 says

    I installed the Desktop Gadgets Installer on my Win 10 computer. However, the side bar does not appear on the desktop. I can click a an icon in the Installer window but it does not appear on the desktop. It also does not show up in the list of Apps in the Start Menu. I know the program is installed because it appears in the programs uninstaller list. Any suggestions?

  4. Belstone says


    I found how to delete most of the files, at least enough to allow a reinstallation with the files-still-exist message coming up.

    You need to first make yoursaelf the owner of these files. There is a command in Windows 10 that was introduced back in Vista: takeown (hxxp:// You’ll need the command prompt with admin permissions, so navigate to C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe and right-click on it, then select Run as Administrator.

    Now run the command “takeown /f /r /d y” where is the location of the Windows Sidebar directory, like this:

    takeown /f C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar /r /d y

    and then

    takeown /f C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Sidebar /r /d y

    These will make you the owner of the two Windows Sidebar directories and all of the subdirectories and files within them.

    Now navigate in Windows Explorer back to the Windows Sidebar folders (the easiest way is to search for “gadget” and then right-click and select Open File Location in each of the Program Files folders). Now that you are the owner of these folders, you should be able to delete almost everything in them (I wasn’t able to delete the en-US folder nor the sbdrop file from C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar).

    After deleting these, I was able to run the Windows Desktop Gadgets setup applications again. HOWEVER, I did get an error that the file Sidebar.exe.mui could not be created because it already existed BUT this can be bypassed by just clicking Ignore and continuing with the installation.

    Warning: doing the following may uninstall your previously-installed non-Windows-default gadgets (but they can be reinstalled by double-clicking their respective .gadget files).

    If you are inclined to unistall the Windows Desktop Gadgets again in order to ensure that all of that previously-unremoveable crap is gone, feel free to, but you may find that C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\en-US and C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\sbdrop still exist. Don’t fret. They are now unprotected and can be smited with you mighty delete key. Simply search for “Sidebar.exe.mui” in the C:\Program Files folder and Open File Location, then delete the remaining offending file(s) and/or folder(s).

    Now you are able to cleanly reinstall Windows Desktop Gadgets again with a clean slate if you wish.

  5. tlkoss says

    When you search for windows sidebar in the programs folder, you need to right clcik to turn the read nly attribute off .

  6. Ron says

    This may shed some light on why the gadgets are gone in Windows 10, although I don’t know what to do about it.

    I did a search for ‘gadget’ on my C: drive and found two hidden folders, one in Program Files, the other in Program Files (x86). Both folders are named:

    Windows Sidebar

    And each contains a subfolder named Gadgets which seem to contain the Desktop Gadgets installation.

    However, browsing with Windows 10 File Explorer, these folders, subfolders and files are all invisible and there seems to be no way to make them visible except to the search engine. As a side note, Agent Ransack found them as well.

    I’m guessing that this invisibility is what’s causing the problem.

    If this gives anyone a clue as to how to solve this, please post.

  7. Deborah Moschkin says

    Is there any way to get the round “wall” clock back? I’ve had all the same issues as others with this gadget. I didn’t realize how much I had gotten used to that clock and would love to have it back. Thanks!

  8. Clintlgm says

    Well I started with 8gadgetpack back with window 8 and 8.1 and on to 10, The All CPU gadget doesn’t work in 10 PC Meter runs but the gadget can’ see it. So I Switched back to Core temp that gadget works great.
    My Favorite is Clipboarder really good if you use repetitive statements etc. I post in a few forums so I have all the basic stuff right there to right click and past!
    I would love to see these Gadgets in metro app mode as with 10 we can run them in desktop mode. I am currently not running any of them yet. Guess I’m too traditional and don’t trust my computers live on the internet in ways I can’t control??/!

  9. Ron says

    Thanks for the response, Admin.

    However, when I tried to run the installer (DesktopGadgetsRevised-2.0.exe) I got this error:

    “There are some Sidebar Files in the C:\Program Files folder. Please uninstall the Sidebar package already installed on your PC and then try again.”

    In Control Panel > Programs and Features, I see no entry that looks like it’s the Desktop Gadgets package, so there seems to be nothing to uninstall.

    Any idea where I would go from here?

  10. admin says

    @ Ron and others
    If the desktop gadgets are not appearing after installing an update, you have no option but to reinstall the desktop gadget pack.

  11. Ron Tarrant says

    After a Windows 10 upgrade on Dec. 20, 2015, my Desktop Gadgets are gone. The icon in my Control Panel doesn’t respond to clicking.


  12. Glenn Burch says

    QUESTION! (And a GOOD one, I am thinking…)
    I am currently running Windows 7 and am considering making the jump to Win10
    Would it be possible to simply SAVE onto another disk, all of my EXISTING .GADGET files, which are currently found in path:
    C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets
    …where all of the “safe” Gadgets are stored, (“safe” = the ones that Microsoft provided us before they were discontinued. I personally never had the NEED to download additional .GADGET files, so I know mine are Windows-safe.
    ANYWAY…Are the Win7 Gadget files, and all related files found in that Gadget’s folder, compatible with Win10??

  13. Frost says

    I’ve used desktop gadgets since windows 7 to windows 8.1 for the App Launcher. Desktop gadget installs fine in my windows 10 but App Launcher crashes everytime. Is there a fix to this. Thanks.

  14. kmmc55 says

    My BullGuard VC (v.16) reported a virus when attempting to install the gadgets from the Zip file download 🙁

  15. admin says

    A number of users reporting this issue on forums. You need to reinstall the gadget pack to fix the issue.

  16. John Dossey says

    I have used the 8gadgetpack app since I upgraded to windows 10 earlier this year. It worked on all 4 laptops I have. I added additional gadgets for CPU meter and Network meter.
    Now I have run that MASSIVE update to Windows 10 and for some UNKNOWN reason, my 8gadgetpack still works perfectly on 2 laptops, and does NOTHING on one and gives a weird error when I right click, and click on GADGETS?
    I hope there is a fix for this. I really relied on the CPU meter especially.

  17. Alistair says

    Stopped working after install of latest Windows 10 build 10856 update – cannot access Gadgets through Control panel and not displayed on Desktop

  18. monty rob says

    8gadgetpack 16 is now working on the th-2 windows threshold upgrade i am running it now and the 8gadgetpack 16 is working now, i like the gadgets, and use them
    also like the full screen start screen of win 10

  19. monty rob says

    i have used 8 gadget pack in all os from 7 to ten, but now in ten some gadgets do not work or disappear i used the mini radio gadget often, and miss it, will be searching often for an update for any gadget information to. thanks to all who designed 8gadget pack and the updaters too

  20. Bob Delamare says

    I have the same problem as Wayne. Installed Desktop Gadgets Installer, selected Clock clicked on Add but nothing happened. tries drag and drop but as soon as I dropped the clock disappeared. Checked that show gadgets was enabled and it is.

  21. Barry Thompson says

    Apps not working and cannot download new ones. Anyone found a way to correct the apps .. problem..

  22. Alex Kooijman says

    Hey, I downloaded the programm, but it didn’t install. Calender.xml gives the error. I’m on Windows 10 pro


    Alex Kooijman

  23. Tom says

    I love some of the desktop gadgets. The QuickLaunch gadget is unbelievably useful and efficient for organizing and running your programs. Unfortunately both of these gadget install programs crashed and burned on Windows 10 after working well for a few days. I tried to uninstall the DesktopGadgets program, but it does not show up in Programs and Features so there is no way to remove it. Now it is in my system, does not work, and can’t be removed. Maybe I can start to see what Microsoft was getting at.

  24. Wayne says

    So, I installed the Desktop gadget feature to my new Win 10 install. I right click on the desktop and can see and then select the “Gadgets option to the desktop context menu”. I right-click on the Clock gadget and select the “add” option and nothing happens (no clock anywhere I can see). Is there something I’m missing?

  25. Alan Crenshaw says

    Thanks to this article, I’ve decided to Upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Was hesitant, because I read on the Microsoft site that Windows 10 didn’t support gadgets, and I’m not willing to give up my “All CPU Meter”. But now, thanks to you and your research I’m moving forward!

    Alan in Chicago

  26. William says

    “The feature was discontinued siting security reasons. ”

    Citing is written like this: citing. Not like “siting.”

  27. Christopher Clayton says

    I have used seven Gadgets from the earlier 8 Gadget Pack (which has 20 + Gadgets) on my Windows 8.1 Tablet, and have found them very useful, giving me a continuous read out of important information such as the battery state and drive usage, and an enhanced clipboard for example. Hence I was delighted to discover that while MS is not offering them in Windows 10, they will be alive and kicking with scores of new and updated Gadgets compatible with the new OS. The installers you describe will be very helpful. Yet more to look forward to.

  28. Bob says

    “Microsoft, in fact, has been providing a tool to completely uninstall desktop gadgets” What tool would that be, and where to find it? I know I can disable the gadgets platform in “turn windows features on/off” or by using group policy, but if there is a tool to completely obliterate gadgets from windows, I want to use it.

  29. jjMustang says

    Uhm, “Desktop gadget feature, one of the most used features of Windows 7, is not available in Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and the latest Windows 10. ”

    Most used features? Based on what data?

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